The Stonewall Defense

Today, let me share with you a boxing technique that I learned back in my amateur fighting days. It served me well against other berserkers, but it is particularly useful for berserker versus mundane matches.

While prepping for the second Shieldbiter’s Cup tournament one year, I traveled to Bosnia to meet up with a fellow berserk fighter, one of my opponents in the upcoming tournament, who was stationed there with the UN. He had got his hands on some wonderful old books by a champion boxer from the early twentieth century: Champ Thomas. He had been a golden gloves champion several times, and fought in carnivals where, if he didn’t win, then he didn’t eat. In How to Be an Ass Whuppin’ Boxer, I believe it was, he described a defensive stance that he had developed himself that he attributed some of his victories to: the Stonewall defense.

In a traditional boxing stance, both hands are held a little way away from the body, so that they are a little closer to the opponent, but not so far out as to be too tiring. In Champ Thomas’ Stonewall defense, the rear forearm is held parallel to the waist, a little above waist level, touching the body. The lead forearm is held straight up with the elbow close to the other fist, and the fist next to the cheek. It, too, should be touching the body.

The idea here is that, by holding your arms in so close, you can hold the stance for a lot longer than most people can hold the traditional stance, because your arms don’t get tired so fast. With only the tiniest of movements, you can shift the position of one of your arms to block any attack, and because your arm is braced against your body, your defense is physically stronger.

A berserker can use it particularly well against a mundane opponent. The key to doing so is getting in really close to your opponent, which is easy because your arms are so close in. Use your heightened reflexes to fight comfortably in close. A lot of mundane opponents are not comfortable in close, shifting the advntage firmly to you.

Alternatively, use it to bolster your endurance. Stamina is many a berserker’s Achilles heel, because we burn through energy so fast. This stance can compensate a bit for that.

Be careful, though: your lower elbow will stick out a bit from your side. A clever opponent who is paying attention can target it and do some real damage.

BTW: Champ Thomas’ books are well worth a read for any fighter out there.

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